Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wishing you......

my first pumpkin pie from scratch....including the crust!! Also pumpkin puree did NOT come from a can!!

A wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ohhh the possibilities are endless....Dr. George??

I love daydreaming......believing in possibilities......watching doors open. All of it is so exciting and we each have our own way of interpreting what these sayings mean to us. Although these phrases and all that come with them (mostly my imagination) is filled with hope and awakenings......for me and I am sure for others with this also comes the opposite feeling... FEAR. Of the unknown....what does it look will I make it happen......and the all important what if I fail??
All of these topics have been on my mind lately. I made a decision at the end of last year that this school year would be my last one teaching the High Functioning Autsim program at Tyee. I will spare you from all the details as to how I came to this decision. I just realized it was time to move onto something different. I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't change my mind....that at the end of June I would have my classroom packed up and be ready for the next adventure in my career. I have told everyone I am leaving......that way I am held accountable. I have made a huge effort to "be present" in every moment this soak it all interactions with my students.....the fun lessons I get to teach......the relationships with the staff I have amazing paraeducators.
As I am enjoying each moment I am also filled with excitement mixed with a dash of anxiety ....... as people ask me...."What are you going to do next year". My positive outlook on life response so far has been..... "Ohh the to narrow them down". But if I was to be really honest I would also have to admit I have my moments where that fear comes in and I wonder "What am I going to do?" As the anxiety starts to build in these moments I have to reassure myself that the universe will unfold the path and as long as I put my intentions out there...something will come along. What I know for that it is time for me to take my expertise and share what I know about working with students who have autism with others. I know that can't be done when you are teaching in a classroom all day. I know that I have mastered the art of running an autism program at all levels .....and that I am ready to expand my learning. I know no matter how scary it might feel... I have shut one door...which leaves room for another to open.
So what are the possibilities you ask.......well here is what I have so far......
  • Autism Consultant
  • General education classroom teacher
  • Going overseas to teach with International schools
  • My hope and dream is to work at the Autism Center at the University of Washington
  • Lead the TAT team in Bellevue

and just this afternoon at a training for the TAT team......when I told one of the post doc students that I wasn't coming back...she looked at me and said....come to the UW and get your Ph.D!! At first I laughed and told her I needed to be able to have an income ...that I was not looking to go back to College life again...eating pasta all the time! That's when she told me that she makes more now then she did as a teacher......she continued to say that she also does consulting in a local district and she can't handle all the referrals and would love to have someone who could take some. We exchanged information and made plans to get together to talk.

You know what the craziest part of it is......I have always wanted to get my Ph.D...... so another possibility to add to the never know!

Dr. Julie has a nice ring to it!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fall Photo Walk

Today was a marvelous day. A day off to remember those who have fought for our country. As a teacher I always appreciate having days off to recoup and rest and most certainly enjoy having the day land in the middle of the week. It was a beautiful Fall day here in I grabbed my camera and head out for a walk. A photo walk! I had so much fun capturing images was exactly what I needed to make my heart feel full. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Eye Candy!

Umm...I will take him... please!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The rains begins....

The real rain started yesterday morning. It hasn't stopped. Last night on my drive home from work it was not only rainy but also foggy. That is a bit unusual for here...yes we get fog in the morning but it usually burns off by mid-day. I was excited driving home....I couldn't wait to get home.....get some take out thai food......make a cup of tea......put on my pj's....and curl up on the couch for some movie watching! You see I LOVE this weather. People keep telling me I will get sick of it......but this is year 4 and I still love it just as much as I did that first year. Now don't get me wrong...come May I will be very tired of looking at those clouds and grey skies........but it is the start of the it brings joy to my heart.

I absolutely enjoy living in a place that has seasons. Right now the leaves are changing and it is gorgeous. My other favorite part to the season is the weather. When the rain gives us permission to stop......relax.....and give in to being indoors.

Just wanted to share the "Fall" flowers I bought last Sunday at the Farmer's market.....only $8!

I promise to post more......with 7 weeks of school under my belt I think I have finally found my groove!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

First Fall Sunset

During my evening walk last night at Discovery Park I was fortunate enough to witness and capture this amazing sunset. I miss these sunsets. I miss the pink, orange and gold colors in the sky.......watching that big ball of yellow go down beyond the mountains. I grew up in a place where sunsets ...sunsets like these are everyday occurrences. Where on occasion you may stop...sit and watch this spectacular event...but mostly it was just an everyday event. Living in the Northwest we don't get these sunsets very often and when we do I make the effort to find a place where I can stop...sit and watch. Last night I was joined by many others who like me had made the effort to capture this view. There were people sitting on the wooden benches with cameras in hand....while others had come...brought and were enjoying a meal while watching. I know for me......I needed this moment.......I needed some time to stop...sit and watch. I needed to fill myself back up....and the best way to do that for to be out in soak up what it has to offer.

I know this picture is blurry......but I think that is what I like about it.......

I hope you are enjoying the beginning of Fall!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Autumn is in the air.....

"I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air.- Nathaniel Hawthorne

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Weekend Plans.......

It was Friday afternoon around 1:35 when our administrator intern Dusty walked into the staff lounge and joined myself and some fellow teachers who were just finishing up lunch. Polite exchanges occurred and then came the question most ask on Friday's..... " What plans do you have this weekend"? As each person was going around sharing the cool and great things they had planned I sat there waiting for my turn......knowing....I don't have any plans this do I make it sound like I am going to do something cool and fun. Eventually it was my turn and I had nothing. I mean...I did have my therapy appointment on Friday afternoon......but do you really share that with people who aren't your friends....probably not. As all eyes were on me and I smiled and felt a bit uncomfortable as I said "I don't really have any plans...I would like to go hiking".

Truth be told it was going to be "the last weekend of summer" highs were expected into the upper 80's and the sun was going to be in full force. Several of my friends were busy for the weekend and my idea of kayaking or hiking had started to fade around 10 am. I figured I could always go hiking by myself.

As the afternoon wore on I found an e-mail in my invite to join some friends for happy hour that afternoon. At happy hour I got an invitation by a friend of a friend to go out on the boat on Saturday. While walking to dinner after happy hour I received a phone call from another dear friend who invited me over to her house on Sunday for some Seahawks football....drinks, snacks and good company.

When it was all said and done I had an incredibly busy weekend. I enjoyed spending the evening outside Friday night having dinner and drinks with friends. Saturday was a gorgeous day and going out on the boat absolutely made my DAY. Getting out on the lake in a boat has been on my "want to do list" since I moved to Seattle. Jumping off the boat into the cool water of Lake Sammamish and going for a swim was such a treat. Later that afternoon I had my "monthly" Social with my students.....and a house warming party for a friend that evening.

I always find it incredible when situations like this occur. I am always in awe of it. Having things/events unfold right before your eyes is just plain cool. I love how the universe provides for you exactly when you need it. Thank you universe! Now if I could just get that husband......

Monday, September 7, 2009

The first week.....

Last Monday was the start of a new school year. My 9th school year to be exact. For those who are teachers you know how hectic and down right tiring this week can be. The back to school pace and chaos is quite a jolt to the system. Especially when you have had 8 weeks of blissful summer. About a month ago my friend Autumn called and said she would be on a road trip to the west coast and I was one of the stops on her trip. Yippee! I was excited....... and then came the dates......wait....what.....the second day of school....sure come and visit! I was a bit apprehensive but also thought it would be a nice change for me as well. Then I got the 2nd phone call....this one from my dear friend Jay.......guess what he has a layover in Seattle on his way to Alaska. Great! I am so excited.....wait...what day?? Oh you are coming ...THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL...... I was filled with a mixture of YIKES and YIPPEE all at the same time. When the emotions died first thought was......"What kind of hostess will I be"........I barely make it threw those first few days when I have no plans much less guests and having to entertain. But I was up for the challenge and to be really honest it was wonderful to have a reason to skip out of school right at the end of contract time. It was nice not having school consume me and my time that first really made me take a step back and know is OK if your classroom is not perfect...if all the e-mails didn't get sent will be fine....the building will not crash down!

One of the best moments of the week was dinner Wednesday night with these two lovely ladies. To say my heart was full at the end of the evening does not describe it accurately. I had moments where I literally had to pinch myself to make sure I stayed fully present in the moment. You see Joanne, Autumn and I all went to NAU together and have been friends ever since. But as we all know life happens...people get married...babies are take off and next thing you know it has been 8 years since you have all been together. I love the energy these ladies give out to the universe......I LOVE where we are all at in our lives.......I am grateful that we are still friends and cherish being in the company of women who have known me for a very long time......and still love, adore and support me. I admire the women we have grown into.... I am so proud of the adult versions of us. We have come a long way since those college days. We decided at the end of the night that it is unacceptable to wait another 8 years before we are all together we are going to plan a trip to Mexico in the Spring. Heather....I know you are reading this......start wasn't the same without you complete us!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Whispers revealed

We all have them... that inner voice that speaks to us. The whispers are always there nudging you to listen. Often we ignore them and shift our focus onto something else. But they are always there in our conscious minds pulling at our hearts wanting us to pay attention. They come to us in many forms....dreams....thoughts....words spoken to one another. They come in times of silence and in times of chaos. Sometimes they speak softly and other times they are screaming so loud it is hard to concentrate on anything else. Whispers come from a place deep within. It is our intuition talking to us... if we pay attention it can be our navigation system leading us to our true potential. Our true selves. Listen to your whispers....follow what they are saying.....believe in possibilities.

Here are some of my whispers......

become a consultant for families who have children with autism......

Buy a SLR digital camera ...or I like to call it a "real" whisper to learn, understand and create through photography is very LOUD these days......

Find a man to join me in this journey called life......

own a house in Seattle...a cute craftsman...with hard wood molding and large windows that allow in lots of wonderful warm light.....

add to my "family" a golden retriever......

have my very own vegetable garden......

travel the world....

What are your whispers?? What dreams are speaking to you right now??

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The health care debate is making me sick

by Brian Unger

The health care debate is toxic, revealing a lot about us as a nation. And it feels embarrassing — like the whole world can see our underpants. Or hear us fighting in the kitchen.

First, most of us can't describe accurately the details of the health care reform now under debate. That makes us look stupid or too busy to care.

Second, most of us can't describe accurately the health care or insurance we currently have, so that makes us look kind of stupid or lazy.

Some of us don't care about people who don't have health insurance, so that makes us seem unsympathetic or super lucky.

Most of us don't understand that we're already paying for people who don't have health care — which makes us too busy to care, in denial or merely rich.

Some of us — a lot of us — already receive health care under some form of government plan, but don't believe in health care under some form of government plan. That makes us hypocritical or selfish. In some camps, I hear that makes us patriotic.

A lot of us are a combination of these things: too busy, lazy, a bit stupid perhaps, lucky, unsympathetic, in-denial, really rich, hypocritical, selfish ... and patriotic.

We're having an identity crisis when it comes to caring about the nation's health, which makes me think what we really need is psychotherapy. But, sadly, that's not covered under most health plans, if you have one at all.

To many, health care reform is scary, like someone's building a halfway house for criminals right at their doorstep. It's a N.I.M.B.Y. ("Not In My Backyard") issue evolved into a N.O.M.B.O. ("Not On My Back, Obama") issue.

People never change. But policy can, so our health care reformers must get more creative and visionary.

How about a Cash for Clunkers Program? Not for cars, but for older, beat-up people whose bodies have wear and tear, and can't go long distances when they're filled with gas?

Our government is offering us $4,500 to buy a new car. Can it also offer humans incentives — say, a tax break — to join a gym? To quit smoking? Or to buy produce from local farmers? Reward schools that teach kids how to eat right and exercise? You know, kind of like that class we used to offer kids called "gym."

Let's pay people to stay healthy, instead of only paying for them when they get sick. Then maybe our nation will find its compassion, the one true antidote for its health care identity crisis.

Brian Unger is a writer, satirist and actor.
He helped launch The Daily Show and he is a regular contributor to NPR.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Such a treat!

Blackberries.......delicious! I picked these on my walk home from work today. Yup....that's right ....the trail I take home is lined with TONS of blackberry bushes......and right now is the perfect picking time. I was taught last summer what to look for when picking blackberries from a wonderful 10 year old boy who has autism. I remember him saying to me " You have to use your heart when picking blackberries".....oh how my heart melted at that moment! I took Evan's advice today and it did not fail me. I picked the BEST blackberries. So juicy and ohh so sweet. The best part my purple stained hands....another sign of summer!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A new mode of transportation

This past week marked the start of summer camp. A summer camp that I have had the opportunity to develop and design. This camp is for students with High functioning autism and Aspergers...and is being run through the University of Washington. I found out the week before that the UW doesn't give parking passes to their employee's (or only to a select few) the rest must either bike or bus it to work. How cool is that??

I live maybe.....a mile from the UW. Lucky for me the Burke Gilman is right by my house (this is the biking trail here in Seattle). So I was thrilled...I finally get a chance to pull my bike out and use it. Off I went to my laundry room to rescue my bike. It was spider hair.......camping was not a pretty sight. The tires were flat....I mean not sure they were going to work flat. The handle bars where the brake was located was bent in. This had happened when brilliant me decided to hang my bike from the ceiling. In my mind it was a great idea......more space in the laundry room. Little did I know apparently you need to hang these objects from the beams?? What? I just put it up......well it came down after about a month. Note to self...find the ceiling beams!

I pulled the bike out and I have to say it wasn't looking good. I took my bike over to my friend Tracey's house. Her husband was so kind to look/fix it. Side note.......the new jetta IS much whole bike fit inside my trunk......of course with the seats pulled down....but my last jetta it wouldn't fit. Yay!

My bike was able to be saved! It was ready to get on the road again. Now it has been well over a year since I had last been on my bike. I mean how difficult can it be right?? You get on and ride. Well that is true. I have no crazy story to tell about falling or crashing on my bike. However I was not prepared for how sore I was going to be! I felt so pathetic...I mean I am an active person.....I hike and walk quite a bit...use my legs. Apparently you use VERY different muscles for biking. Needless to say it was Wednesday before they started feel somewhat better.

I have loved biking to work this past week. I am looking forward to doing it again this next week. I enjoy feeling the cool morning air on my face........the rapid beating of my heart...... being just a tad bit out of breathe when getting to the stoplight......knowing that I am getting exercise.......but the BEST part of biking is that my commute is only 10 minutes!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Another year older

Look who turned Four........

I can't believe it has been 4 years since I received these sweet little creatures. I still remember it like it was yesterday. Oh what anxious new mommy I see Abby and Chloe were my first true pets!

They are wonderful and I just love their personalities. Each one is so affectionate. Abby is always standing at the door when I come home...ready to flop onto her back so I can give her a belly rub......and Chloe well not a night goes by that she doesn't sleep right next to me. I love having pets....I love the energy they bring into a house. These four years have gone by so quickly.....I am looking forward to many more!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Mt. Rainier National Park

My friend Sarah and I made plans to go on a backpacking trip this summer. When we started talking about it in early July we both had the same destinations picked out...Mt. Rainier or the Olympic Peninsula. Both of these destinations are breathtaking and I personally had yet to be to either one. We decided on Mt. Rainier and the planning began! Well sort of.......I think Sarah and I spent maybe 20 minutes planning this trip. We went to Barnes and Noble took some books off the shelf and looked through them. Quickly we had picked our spot. The one thing we did change was we decided to NOT go backpacking but to camp instead. We made that decision mostly because we wanted more of a "vacation" and camping would allow us to bring all kinds of things....where backpacking...well you have to be much more selective as you are carrying all your crap on your back!

So we made our plans that day. The two of us are very "Type A" personalities so between the both of us we had all bases covered. We planned to camp for 3 nights at the White River campground on the Northeast side of the park. We would do 3 hikes while we were there. Easy...hard ...then a moderate one. We were all set! We left on a Wednesday morning. The weather was perfect and lucky for us it stayed that way for the entire trip.

Here is our campground. We scored such a great site! It was away from the road and there was quite a bit of room between ourselves and the sites next to us. We did pretty well with camp set up.....I was using a tent that was "new" to me. Sarah and I struggled a bit with it and I am pretty sure we didn't get it up 100% correctly but it stayed up the whole time!

Ahh...not the best quality is Sarah making dinner. Let me tell you we ate like kings. Well according to Sarah. I grew up car camping and we always ate very well when camping ( thank you Dalene!) so I don't know any different. We had chicken, steak and veggies for dinner......eggs, blueberry pancakes and sausage for breakfast. Apples....cherries....cantaloupe for snacks. Then of course no vacation is complete without happy we had wine each night along with cheese, crackers and Salami. The only tricky part to eating was building the campfire. Sarah had never done it before....and well I should probably know how to do this and in my mind I thought I did (easy....newspaper, twigs, log and a match) it turned out to be a bit more difficult than either of us expected. We got it the first night.......the second night which was steak night we didn't end up eating until almost 11pm because we just couldn't get the fire started.......and the third night I sucked it up and asked our wonderful neighbor Jim to come and give us a tutorial on it. That was so helpful and I am proud to say I know how to get a fire started. On a side note...I did think the pieces of wood we had were too big and that is why the fire wasn't catching....come to find out I was right. On my list of camp supplies that needs to be purchased an axe to chop wood.

After getting camp set up we headed out for our first hike. We went up to the Sunrise Lodge. Talked to a very helpful ranger who graciously told us a great hike to do. We set out on our 4.5 mile hike. Although relatively easy in terms of elevation was hard to get acclimated to the elevation gain in general. We had gone from Sea level to over 7,000 feet in less than a day. Needless to say I had a hard time breathing. Here is a mini lake we saw on our hike.

Day 2 we did the Summerland hike. This hike was 8.5 miles and an elevation gain of 2100 feet. This was our "hard" hike. This picture is taken on the trail. So many times throughout this trip I was wishing I had a "real" camera. The wildflowers were beyond beautiful. They were everywhere many colors......and yet my camera just didn't capture it completely. Someday!

Summerland is one of the most popular hikes in Mt. Rainier. In this picture you can see why.....such a great view of the mountain. I also have to say this was the first time I had ever camped in a National Park...and well it is sooo nice. The trails are clearly marked...even the back country trails. When we got to the top of this hike we both had to use the restroom......well lucky for us this has a back country campground and they had a bathroom....with hand sanitizer in it! Yippee! Now I know not all back country sites are like that.....but it was pretty impressive.

Day 3 we did the Naches Peak Loop. This hike was 4.5 miles. (I have to say I am very proud of us we hiked nearly 18 miles on this trip) I love this picture as the mountain ranges look like they go on forever. Sarah made fun of me most of the trip as I am the nerd with the map trying to figure out what mountain was what..... I wanted to know all the names and where we were in location to Mt. Rainier. I was such a student!

Here we are! Great view of Mt. Rainier...except the clouds are in the way. That is how it was a majority of the trip. The clouds just love to hang out around the top of Rainier. It makes the mountain very mysterious.

Our trip was wonderful. I am such a nature girl and find that I feel my absolute best when outside...camping and hiking. I love at end of the day when you have finished a hike and you are covered in sunscreen....bug repellent...and dirt.....and how just a tiny bit of water and quick scrub with a baby wipe can leave you feeling clean and refreshed. I love that in the National Parks they do Ranger talks at night. I love the slow pace of camping and how the rhythm of the day revolves around cooking meals... cleaning dishes...and heading out for a hike. I love sitting in a camp chair in the late afternoon reading a book. I love watching the camp fire at night. My all time hands down most favorite part of camping (and this can only happen when you have nice weather) is going to sleep at night with the rain fly off and being able to look up at the stars while you are falling asleep. It just doesn't get any better than that!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

It's official ~ we're having a heat wave!

We are having a tiny bit of a heat spell here in the NW. Now I know, I know.....all my AZ friends and family are just laughing at me right now. As 96* does NOT mean a heat wave in that state. That means summer is just getting started! However here in Seattle where we are lucky if temps get to 82* in the summer...... 96* is just plain HOT. Not to mention that most of this city has no air included!

I came home the other day and found Abby and Chloe laying on the floor in front of the door and exactly where the fan was blowing. It must be hot as these two don't usually lay in this spot. Poor girls...all that hair! I had to capture the moment.

So I am off to think of fun ways to keep cool. Although I am not a huge lake girl ~ I am thinking that today I will be getting myself into Greenlake for a swim! Hope you stay cool today!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Conquering Fears

Confident, Self Assured, Independent, Strong, Intelligent.....these are all words that have been used by friends, colleagues and family to describe me. These words I have heard so many times.....for many years.....yet at times that voice from within says something different to me.....and what it has to say is not nearly as positive or as kind as what my dear family and friends have expressed. Why is that? When did that happen? Or has it always been that way? I am coming to the slow realization that somewhere on this life journey I have taken a major detour ....the path has been filled with....needing to "fit" in...... needing to be perfect....not wanting to make mistakes in front of others.....not letting people completely they may find out.....what??.....what have I been so afraid of? Truth be told it is many things. Funny how that tiny voice can keep a hold over you saying loudly aren't good enough or no you can't do that.

I was recently asked to do a presentation at the University of Washington's Autism Center. Every summer they put on a week long summer intensive program. Now to back up just a bit....three years ago when I moved to Seattle, the school district who hired me sent me to this very training. Everyday I would show up and sit mesmerized...listening to all these speakers...wondering...wishing......wanting to be one of them! I have always had a deep desire to be a write research....get my Ph.D.

This all came about because my district has a contract with UW Autsim Center. We have a consultant who works with us .. Dr. Milani Smith. I have worked with her for the past three years. I can still remember the first time I met her at the training. It has been wonderful working with her and she believes in me. She actually says she learns from me...what?? me?? When she asked me to present this summer I was flooded with two emotions....excitement and FEAR. I knew this was exactly the opportunity I have always wanted and needed. As my goal is to someday....train teachers to work with students who have autism. However that tiny voice in my head was there...whispering..." You can't do this....remember your public speaking class in college...yes the one you almost completely froze when you got in front of you can't do will be a disaster". I have given 3 presentations this past year and I always walked away feeling like I did ok....but not.. I hit it out of the ballpark great.

The presentation was to be 3 hours! YIKES! That is a long time to talk. I almost called Milani and told her I couldn't do it.....but I didn't. Instead I wrote an affirmation and taped it to my bathroom mirror....and I worked on my presentation (took 5 hours to put together).....and I rehearsed. I organized and prepared my materials. The night before I am not sure I slept at all. There was that voice again.... " What if you get up there and forget something...or even worse what if your voice starts shaking". Each time I would say my was simple..... Julie you will do a wonderful job presenting tomorrow..... over and over all night.

I arrived at the UW 30 minutes early. Set up all my books and visuals I had brought as examples. I sat in the bathroom for about 5 minutes as the nerves kicked into high gear and my hands started to shake. Took lots of deep breaths. Then it was time. The room we were in was a stadium style seating with a stage area. The presentation screen took up the whole wall behind me. The participants trickled in from lunch. A lady walked to the front to introduce me and read my bio ...and was time to start. I walked up ...looked out at the audience and I suddenly felt comfortable.....just like I was standing in front of my class teaching. No shaky forgetful moments...No freezing up. I even started to remember all of my funny student stories and dropped them in at all the right times. The 3 hours flew by...and several people came up to me at the break to pick my brain and ask me questions and advice on how to handle situations. It was awesome! I had a lady stop me after the presentation and told me that she learned so much from my presentation and that she wrote tons of ideas down.

I walked out there beaming! Glowing..... mostly because my biggest goal in all of this was to deliver a presentation that would be meaningful to teachers. It made my whole day to know that even if it was just one person.....that one person walked out learning something they didn't know before. I also realized that I would really like to do this more.....I would really love to teach teachers how to work with these students and share what I have learned working with students who have autism for the past 12 years. last thing...another fear...... I hiked Snow Lake last week. I did this as a backpacking trip last August....and although I LOVED my trip I felt the hike was sooo hard. Needless to say i have been asked to do this hike by several friends and I have always said No. Why? Fear......fear of not being a good enough hiker........and struggling again with this hike. Well I am happy to report I did it...and guess wasn't hard at all! Of course I have done tons of hiking so I am in much better hiking condition this summer than last.....but once again I let that voice...that self doubt get in the way. Once of these days I am going to have a stomp that voice party! I wanted to share this with as well...i read it and was blown away. I need this reminder...daily!

"Our imperfections are what connect us to each other and our humanity. Our vulnerabilities are not weaknesses, they are powerful reminders to keep our hearts and minds open to the reality that we're all in this together" ~ Brene Brown "I thought it was just me"

Thursday, July 9, 2009

That's not photoshop

This is for my dear friend VB. She came to visit me a couple of years ago and she took my picture at a restaurant we were eating at in Pike's market Place. Well we laughed when we saw the picture as it looked like I was photoshoped into the picture. I recently went on a hike to Lake Annette with a co-worker. Beautiful was about 7 1/2 miles. She took this picture of me on the trail and when I got home and looked at it...I started to laugh as it looks fake!

I know I promised less nature pictures....BUT it is so hard! This place is bursting with gorgeous scenery. I mean I really can't believe I live here...I must think that several times a day. I love the scenery but I also love living in a city. A place where by night you can bar hop and sing karaoke....then the next day you can wake up and this is your view on a hike. All the while.....this view is maybe a 45 - 50 minute drive from my house! Can you say L-U-C-K-Y! :) Here are pictures from the bar hopping and the hike!

Monday, July 6, 2009

It's beginning to look alot like.....SUMMER!

It's been one week since school ended and summer vacation began......and I have to say I just love summer! We just went through a bit of a "hot" spell here in the Northwest...temps in the mid to high 80's...OH MY! I will admit...that does seem sooo hot...especially when there is no air conditioning.

I love living in a place that has seasons. There is something wonderful about living in harmony of the natural cycles of the environment. Each season has a purpose....letting go of grief...slowing down and reflecting.....producing and transforming.....expansion, growth and activity. I especially enjoy living in a place where summer actually exists. Not the kind of summer where the pool feels like bath get in your car doing the "try not to burn your legs and hands" dance......where you generally stay inside because...well 114 degrees is not all that comfortable.

The kind of summer where everyone is out playing and enjoying the outdoors. When I first moved here I was taken back when I went to Greenlake for a walk and saw so many people outside swimming, biking, walking, roller blading, paddle boating, laying out in the grass. It was amazing! I knew at that very moment that I would never move back to Arizona. I wanted to share a few images of summer here in Seattle. These were taken at Greenlake....

cute stand that sells delicious treats
Lifeguard post and wooden platform

love the "old School" style diving boards

Look at all the people...and this was a everyone a teacher??
this is my favorite place at Greenlake.....the kiddo pool area!

Summertime.... to me means..... yummy lemonade... fresh Salmon cooked on the grill.... Rainer Cherries......picking blackberries while out for walks......fresh rasberries.....swimming....the smell of sunscreen and bug spray mixed together..... fires...hiking.....getting dirty..... warm nights......outdoor concerts at the Zoo......LOTS of patio time......skirts and dresses...flip flops....painted toenails.....strawberry shortcake..... and plenty of sunshine!

What does summer mean to you?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Lullaby Moon

I have wanted to share about this theatrical production I stumbled across a couple of months ago...but I also wanted to capture some cool pictures of it. Well I have realized that is just NOT going to happen. So on with the story!

Back in May my friend Meg and I were going on a walk around Greenlake. We usually do this several times a week. Now Greenlake is a pretty interesting place all on its own ( another blog post) but on this evening Meg said to me " I think somebody is getting married here tonight". I thought that was quite strange as Greenlake is a very open place...not very much privacy for a wedding. But as we walked she pointed out a white ..would looked like a canopy on the end of the dock. Then we kept passing children who were carrying white balloons. I told Meg...I am not sure this is a wedding but certainly something is going on. Next we saw three very large tricycles....with adults riding them......they were dressed in white and had huge rabbit masks on.

Meg and I started to walk faster as now we were intrigued as to what was going on. There was such magic in the air. As we passed these children carrying balloons...people walking past us with blankets and chairs. As we got closer we saw that what was on the edge of the dock was not a canopy but a bed. There was also a very little bed....a table and chairs...both big and little sizes. There were people playing music off to the side and lights set up. It reminded me of Alice and Wonderland. There were also men dressed up in tuxes roller blading around the lake with the tricycle rabbits.

Meg and I started to ask around and found out it was a performance put on for free. We quickly ran back to the home threw on warm clothes....picked up our camping chairs...some dinner and went back to watch. To say this experience was magical does not do it enough justice. Each month this company puts on a performance to celebrate the "New Moon". It is held at a different location in the city. It is to celebrate the moon...and dreaming ..and the whimsical. They don't advertise so people learn of this through others.

That night was amazing. Everything is done in white. They had lights inside the balloons....canoes out in the water with stars that lite up inside. They have rabbits, clocks, owls, mice and horses for costumes. It is all done with music and words. I was just speechless the whole performance. I love the creativity that just flows here in just takes your breath away.

I have included a link with pictures off the website from that evening. Please take time to look through them.....

Here is the gives you a description of Lullaby Moon

Here is the picture I got last week. Not great..... but I just LOVE the horse costumes......couldn't help myself.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A little of this and that....

My dear friend Velvet brick made a comment to me the other day...she said " you need to post more pictures of things you see in Seattle". It is true... I tend to post so many nature pictures because well ~ I think it is SO beautiful here. Yet Seattle is a funky town and I do indeed need to share some of the randomness that I see quite often.

So Seattle is the city I live in....however there are several neighborhoods that make up "Seattle". My neighborhood is called Fremont. It is a funky, artsy, hippie ~ tree hugging kind of place. I LOVE it here. I mean truly enjoy this neighborhood. I have always been drawn to art, photography and music.....I beginning to think there might be a creative person trapped inside of me. So this place just feels like home. My neighborhood is lined with cool art shops, coffee houses, restaurants, book stores and quaint boutiques. The creativity just oozes in this has so much energy!

This past weekend was the Summer Solstice Parade and Fremont Street Fair. The parade is to celebrate summer. I knew I had moved to the right place when I heard about it ~ celebrating summer....well sign me up! You mean you can actually DO stuff in the summer?? It isn't boiling hot like in AZ?? You can go! I missed the actual parade this year due to another obligation, which is a bummer because my parents were in town and well this parade is know for it's nude bicyclist....yep you read that correctly.....there are about 100 people that ride nude on their bikes in the parade. I should state they do use body paint and make creative designs ...but at the end of the day naked is naked.

The Fremont Street Fair is several blocks long and has tons of booths. They have all kinds of you name it they have it. So many local artist come and bring their work to the fair to sell. You see some pretty amazing stuff. They also have live music and a giant slide. They had one exhibit that I thought was so cool.....and most certainly unique. They had a showcase of that had been decorated....theme cars. They were so unusual I had to take some pictures.

this car is covered in dentures and old tubs of toothpaste

so many toys!!

some funky people hanging out by their car

this is my FAVORITE one..... it was filled with all the items woman use to make themselves "look pretty" the hood of the car was covered in black lace bras!

this one was covered in shoes

this place is sooo is great...but that is of course because i share the same views...people are always walking around with signs .....I happen to really like this one

here is someone playing on the street corner....aside from the fact that he is playing all of those instruments truly favorite part of this picture are the kids dancing up above him.

My mom thought everyone was weird......I laughed so hard when she said that as I thought....hey wait aren't we all a little weird?? and who decided what is considered weird and what is normal? Well Fremont just might be a bit weird but I will take this environmentally aware, politically vocal, coffee drinking, canvas shopping bag using, dog loving, Subaru driving, craft making, organic food loving, teva wearing, outdoorsy place!